Cuomo recommends an M.T.A. ‘reinvention’ commission

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Andrew Cuomo. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking an interest in transportation infrastructure.

Yesterday, he and Governor Chris Christie announced, via a letter to the Port Authority's board, the creation of a "special panel" to deliberate on the future of the Port Authority and come up with recommendations for how to fix it within 60 days.

This afternoon, the governor recommended, via a letter to M.T.A. chairman Tom Prendergast, the creation of a "Transportation Reinvention Commission" to help the Hurricane Sandy-battered M.T.A. prepare for future challenges, including the vicissitudes of climate change, increasing ridership and changing demographics.

"The MTA is scheduled to submit a Capital Plan this fall to identify investment priorities for New York's mass transit network," Cuomo writes. "While past Capital Plans have focused on maintaining and expanding the existing MTA network, New York needs the MTA to develop a reinvention plan to make our subways and our entire transit system ready for the challenges of the next century."

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Cuomo writes that the M.T.A. should include "international transportation experts" on its panel, the panel should hold public hearings, and it should submit its recommendations to the governor before by the M.T.A. votes on its capital plan in September.

"We have been operating the same subway system for the last 100 years," Cuomo writes. "The next 100 years, however, look radically different for New York."

Aside from moments of acute crisis, like Hurricane Sandy, when the M.T.A.'s rapid service restorations became an unexpected good news story, Cuomo has heretofore largely kept his distance from the M.T.A.

You can read the whole letter here.